Metallurgical work sets the stage for quality spodumene concentrate production at Latin Resources’ Colina deposit
Dense Media Separation (DMS) work has confirmed the ability to produce a high-grade, low impurity spodumene concentrate after yielding an impressive 93.1% stage recovery grading 5.5% Li20.
Latin Resources (ASX:LRS) believes these latest metallurgical test results, which utilised pilot scale DMS equipment, demonstrate the potential to build a simple first stage ‘quick to market’ DMS circuit and validate assumptions drawn from the initial benchtop scale HLS test work.
After engaging DGS Lakefield laboratories to conduct a bulk metallurgical test work program on ore from the company’s 45.2Mt Colina deposit, the first bulk DMS tests produced a high-quality concentrate grading 5.5% Li2O at 93.1% stage recovery from a representative sample with a head grade of 1.38% Li2O.
The results aren’t just a reliable indication of commercial DMS performance but are anticipated to have a positive impact on the project economics in the upcoming PEA at the Salinas lithium project in Brazil.
The high quality testwork results validate broker comparisons to neighbour Sigma Lithium, currently in phase one production with a similar high-purity 5.5% Li2O concentrate which has enabled a significant offtake contract with LG Energy.
Sigma is recognised to be one of the lowest cost hard rock producers in the industry, recently achieving its first shipment of operational net zero, battery-grade lithium from its nearby Greentech Lithium Processing Plant. Latin intends to build a similar sustainable mining operation, powered by 100% renewable energy from the nearby hydropower plant; with dry-stacked tailings and recycled water.
“DMS processing is commonly used in the spodumene lithium sector and has been shown to have significant cost saving implications for both capital and operating costs,” LRS vice president of operations-Americas Tony Greenaway said.
“A much larger DMS and other test work program will be undertaken in Q4 of this year utilising more than 2,000kg of spodumene pegmatite samples from Colina.
“The aim of this work is to build on these initial very encouraging results and fine tune the processing flowsheet for the Colina DFS.”
Greenaway added this work may include additional downstream processing as well as initial investigative work on lithium recovery from fines generated during normal run of mine operating conditions.
The potential for Latin to produce green tailings for offtake could provide an additional revenue stream as well as adding further validation to their intended sustainable mining operation.
Now that the results have reinforced that a flowsheet utilising DMS will be the most efficient and cost-effective method for treating the Colina Deposit ore, LRS plans to undertake further work to determine the most appropriate route for the fine fraction.
The results received from this series of metallurgical test work will feed directly into the upcoming PEA due for release in Q3 2023.
LRS intends to undertake further bulk sampling in the coming months to facilitate more extensive test work on the Colina Deposit ore, which is required for the DFS anticipated for release in the first half of 2024.
This article was developed in collaboration with Latin Resources, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.
This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.